Public Libraries

Things to Love about Local Libraries

This post is to publicly thank Joan Wickersham for her lovely op-ed in today’s Globe: “A library tells a story of its own.” Speaking of the Malden Public Library, Wickersham writes:
The library would tell you a lot about what America was like and how it has changed. It would speak about the history of architecture and art, of industrialism and philanthropy, of immigration, of economics, of literature and technology. And it would tell you about the hard choices that go into running a popular public institution in changing times.
As a librarian, I always find it gratifying to see members of the community speak out in praise of their local library! Happy reading for a Friday afternoon.

Book Burning

I saw this article on book burning that I thought might be of interest (“A teen book burns at the stake”).  A group of citizens in West Bend, Wisconsin has been trying to remove Baby Be-Bop from the shelves of their public library.  When the Library Board decided not to comply with their request, it looks like several members of the board were ousted.  Another group, the Christian Civil Liberties Union, has filed a lawsuit against the town and library, and have called for the book to be publically burned. The author in question, Francesca Lia Block, is actually one Natalie had mentioned earlier.

More on Library Liberty

I just read this NY Times article, on Sarah Palin’s career as mayor of Wasilla, AK.  One incident really jumped out at me–her experience with the town library, librarians, and possibly censoring books (or at least having that discussion).  It surprised me a bit that this would be occuring at the level of a town mayor–has anyone heard any other stories like this?  Any thoughts?

Italy, Multiculturalism and Libraries

Italy Italy, (along with most European countries), has experienced an influx of immigrants in last few years, and with that there have been some ongoing (and escalating) tensions down racial and ethnic lines.  This has also been reflected in the election of an increasingly conservative government.   While this recent New York Times article certainly demonstrates a mixed outlook, I was pleased to see that the reporter interviewed two Italian librarians who were trying to promote cultural diversity in their country and the ways in which libraries and art organizations are uniquely positioned to do that.   

Julie Andrews and Libraries

You may know Julie Andrews as the star of Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and The Princess Diaries, but I was quite excited to learn that she’s also an enthusiastic supporter of public libraries! She wrote an editorial in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, criticizing budget cuts. I’ve visited some California public libraries (and in fact have a Palos Verdes Peninsula library card) but am not that familiar with LA libraries. Have any of you visited any? And what do you think of her editorial?